ADRENALINE by Jeff Abbott


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In Abbott’s latest (Trust Me, 2009, etc.), the spy who has everything loses all but his cloak and dagger.

Sam Capra is a CIA golden boy, a special agent in the midst of a glittering career. In addition, he has a beautiful wife; she, too, is a CIA fast tracker. He adores Lucy, she adores Sam, and they are both prepared to adore the child they have on the way. In fact, Sam lives a kind of clandestine idyll, until the day, in a puff of high explosive smoke, every atom of it vanishes. Sam is in the CIA’s building in London, at a meeting, He gets a phone call from Lucy. Clearly, it’s bad news. Pertaining to her? About their baby? She refuses specifics, implores him to meet her outside, begs him to leave the building at once. She sounds desperate. Ignoring the elevator, he races down six flights, catches a glimpse of Lucy seated next to a man in the front seat of a car parked some distance away. It registers with him—indelibly—that the man’s face is dramatically scarred. But that’s all. Moments later the building explodes. Soon enough, there’s Sam undergoing intense—and enhanced—CIA grilling, being asked repeatedly, “Are you a traitor or a fool?” In other words, why is Sam Capra alive when so many good colleagues have been blown to bits? Did he collude with Lucy in some vile and traitorous conspiracy? Or was he merely her dupe? Because at this point Lucy’s guilt has become a CIA given, and only Sam is willing to defend her. To do that, however, he has to track her down and learn from her what there is that’s defensible. But to do that he must first find a way to escape former friends.

Begins brilliantly but diminishes to ordinary when character-driven gives way to body-count–driven.

Pub Date: July 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-446-57517-1
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2011


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